Campaign to End ‘Cycle Hatred’
By Jane Dawn
With a record number of Dublin commuters, we are seeing increasing numbers of cyclists on the roads. Dublin’s streets are filled with tens of thousands of bikes each day, but many motorists aren’t happy. This was most explicitly revealed by comments made by guests on the Late Late Show, Maura Derrane and James Kavanagh. Their comments have been described as ‘appalling’ and ‘casual cyclist hatred’ by the Dublin Cycling Campaign, who believe they contravened the code of standards of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.
Late Late Show Comments
The Late Late Show has been losing viewers over the past few years, and this could be related to its history of offensive content. RTE, who broadcast the channel, received over 200 complaints in 2016 alone. It is the section entitled ‘Bin It!’ which has riled cyclists. One item chosen to be put in the bin was a cycle helmet.
Talking about groups of cyclists on the road, Ms Derrane said “are you in competition with a car? You’re never going to be faster, and it’s almost to piss people off that they do it. I know that.” Fellow guest James Kavanagh followed up by referring to groups of cyclists as “like farm animals”. This has been viewed as ‘casual hatred’ towards cyclists.
Dublin Cycling Campaign Response
The Dublin Cycling Campaign took to Facebook to post the video of the event with the following caption: “We are absolutely appalled by the disgusting display of casual cyclist hatred on last night’s Late Late Show on RTE.” The group went on to mention how 15 cyclists died in 2017, due to unsafe roads. They believe that the show revealed an attitude of impatience towards cyclists. This could lead to the reckless behaviour of drivers, who may be unwilling to give enough space to bike users.
If you are a cyclist looking to remain safe on the road, you are advised to select a bike, ensuring that it is well built and that you are comfortable and in full control. Wear high visibility clothing and use lights in dark or foggy weather.
The Dublin Cycling Campaign is hoping to improve cycling safety by targeting casual and offensive jokes. They have demanded a full apology from RTE and will continue to campaign for respect for Dublin cyclists. As cycling continues to grow in popularity, awareness of the needs of bike users needs to increase.
Help us do more for cycling in Dublin, please consider getting involved.